The Life of An Artist gets Real

On April 21, 2014 by Sydney Walters

LOAA smsss

I once visited a bookstore with illustrations of notable artists painted on the walls above shelves of books. Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, J.D. Salinger, Kandinsky, O’Keeffe and others sit at tables reading books or smoking pipes or ducking their heads together in deep conversation. That imagery always stuck in m head as that is what it looks like to be an artist. It is excitable and rich, but most of all, leisurely. None of those artists seemed pressed for time or worried about things like finances or self publicity. In essence: It seemed easy, relaxed and exactly what I wanted to do. However, the more I investigate culture of art, the more I realize that the paintings of the serene assembly of artists is a severe misconception of what it really means to pursue an artistic career. Life of An Artist (LOAA) seeks to expose the complexity associated with the art world and the difficulties women artists face in this career path.



I attended a panel discussion hosted by LOAA, featuring creative and dynamic women at Grand Central Art Center, where they are living out an residency and filming their project. Carrie Yury, Micol Hebron, Arzu Arda Kosar and Dr. Joanna Roche gave insight into feminism today and how we can initiate conversation and meaningful responses to global gender discrimination. Pertaining to art culture, Micol Hebron invited participation of her ongoing Gallery Tally project –a participatory poster project highlighting gender discrepancy in art galleries. She demonstrates that the overwhelming tendency for successful art galleries show artists that are white and male, above all else. Ingrid Reeve, Barbara Milliorn and Evan Senn contend this reality with a bold question: How can (ethnically diverse) women succeed in that kind of an environment, with that as a model for success? As a means of answering this question, LOAA is launching a reality television/webcast production documenting two women’s journey toward artistic acclaim.



Episode 1: On  premiered during this past Santa Ana Art Walk in the artists’ studio at Grand Central Art Center. A makeshift theater provided an intimate and relaxed setting for visitors to pause and enjoy the production. This first installment introduces Reeve, Milliorn and Senn and divulges many of the complications that arise when artists collaborate. The episode also alludes to future eruptions of drama between the trio, sparking intrigue about the appropriate balance between risk and problem solving, in the arts.


LOAA’s goal is entertain and educate, as well as document the real life process that artists have to go through day to day. Contemporary artists are rarely analyzed in documentary-style series, and even less frequently in Orange County, a unique place. The LOAA ladies straddle the fine line of reality television, documentary film-making and relational aesthetics. LOAA invites viewer participation as well, constantly engaging the local OC community through their residency. The artists offer studio visits to facilitate conversation about the cultural and socio-political meanings attached to feminism. 1979642_522209757900725_1819037794_n

Along with a constant, open invitation to the public, LOAA differs from reality television in its content. These women provide space for much needed conversations intended to provoke and revive interest in feminism. The artists welcome the “bad publicity” attached to reality television, and the honest view into their chaotic and unique lives so they can define what they are by demonstrating what they’re not. They are not intent on providing entertainment and education through excessive drama and stupidity; rather they expose the drama intrinsic to being a woman, an artist and a human. With monthly episodes, this show should be a groundbreaking series with great insight and interesting stories for any female entering the art world.




Instagram: @lifeofanartist_tv

Twitter: @LOAA_TV


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